The U.S. Navy received pre-commissioning unit USS Illinois attack submarine on Saturday from General Dynamics‘ Electric Boat subsidiary.
USS Illinois, the 13th nuclear-powered submarine of the Navy’s Virginia class, arrived ahead of the contract delivery date, the service branch said Monday.
“Our plan is to have Illinois out on operations next year, going from construction start to mission — ready in just over six years,” said Navy program manager Michael Stevens.
The Navy added USS Illinois is the third of eight Virginia-class Block III submarines that was delivered to the service branch and is scheduled to be commissioned on Oct. 29 in Groton, Connecticut.
The watercraft underwent the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey assessments to validate the vessel’s seaworthiness and operational capacity.
Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow that works to launch six Tomahawk cruise missiles, the Navy said.
Virginia-class submarines are designed to support anti-submarine, anti-surface ship, irregular, mine and strike warfare missions as well as special operation forces and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in littorals and deep waters.